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HindustanTimes Sat,29 Nov 2014

Busy police ignore harassed woman in Mumbai

Puja Changoiwala, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, December 11, 2012
First Published: 01:15 IST(11/12/2012) | Last Updated: 01:30 IST(11/12/2012)

A regular autorickshaw ride home to Bandra turned into a nightmare for Daisy D’souza when two men on a bike snatched her purse.

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But the nightmare did not end there. When the frightened airline employee went to the Khar police to register a case, all they did was hand her a piece of paper listing her lost valuables, she said.

“The auto driver had seen those two men. We told them (the Khar police) we could identify them. But the policemen simply asked us to leave. They said they were busy with bandobast duties,” said D’souza, a Bandra resident.

D’souza and a colleague took an autorickshaw from outside the domestic airport in Vile Parle for Bandra in the afternoon on November 17. She went ahead after dropping her colleague at Khar (west).

“When I reached near the National College junction on the Linking Road, two men on a motorbike closed in on my autorickshaw. The pillion rider snatched the purse on my lap,” said D’souza. “I held on to the bag, but I had to let go as I was afraid of falling off. We chased the men in the rickshaw till Hill Road, but they escaped into the narrow bylanes.”

After that, D’souza and the auto driver went to the Bandra police station to file a complaint. The duty officer asked the duo to take a police personnel to the location of the crime. After surveying the spot, the personnel told D’souza that the spot fell under the jurisdiction of the Khar police.

“At Khar police station, I was made to wait for quite some time. At the end, they just made a list of the belongings I had lost and gave me the paper. I asked them if they would check the CCTV footage, if they would call me or prepare sketches of the accused as the auto driver had seen their faces, but they were not interested,” said D’souza.

D’souza said she was too traumatised and did not notice the motorbike’s registration number. She lost her mobile phone, a few documents, bills, Rs2,000 to Rs3,000 in cash and her airport identification card.

“I also tried to follow up with the police. But they just said that if they have any update, they would let me know. There was not even a formal complaint on the matter. I still cannot come to terms with the police inaction,” she said. 

Mangesh Pote, senior inspector, Khar police said, “I am not aware of the matter. I will look into it.”

Case studies

Three days just to get an FIR registered
Mumbai: A 28-year-old woman was molested close to her home in Bandra by a man in an autorickshaw in March this year. The Khar police, however, registered a first information report (FIR) only three days later. The police initially registered only a non-cognisable offence report, the woman claims.
 
The victim, a communications executive, was walking towards her home on Sherly Rajan Road in Bandra (west) at around 11.30pm when an autorickshaw drove up to her from behind. One of the two men in the rickshaw groped her. She fought back and hit him. He punched her first in the eye and then on her shoulder before driving off.

Frightened, she approached the Khar police to file an FIR.

However, the police only registered a non-cognisable offense report. “A cop took down my complaint. They gave me a copy of the complaint, but since it was written in Marathi I could not understand it. It was only later that a friend pointed told me that the police had registered a non-cognisable offence report instead of an FIR,” she had then said.

The woman approached the Khar police again three days later, following which an FIR was registered. P Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police (zone IX) had then said, “We have registered a case under Indian Penal Code sections 354 for outraging the modesty of a woman and 323 for voluntarily causing hurt. Initially, there was a misunderstanding between the victim and the policeman.” - HTC


Lewd comments were left out of the complaint
Mumbai: A 20-year-old girl was getting off a cab outside her college in south Mumbai when the taxi driver made lewd remarks. The Gamdevi police, however, filed a non-cognisable report and omitted the girl’s allegation of being sexually harassed. The incident took place in January this year. 

The student took the cab from Grant Road station at around 9.15am. Immediately after she paid the taxi driver, Irsar Ahmed Ali Khan, 35, she claimed, had made ‘unspeakable lewd’ comments. The girl called the security guard of her college and Khan was taken to the college, after which the police were informed.

The police arrived at the campus and told her to visit the Gamdevi police station and file a complaint. However, the police personnel at Gamdevi filed a non-cognisable offence report instead of an FIR, with incorrect details.

“The victim and Khan got into a tiff over the taxi fare and Khan spoke rudely to her. So we booked him under Indian Penal Code Section 504 for intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace (a NC offence),” sub inspector Nitin Mahadik of Gamdevi police station had said.

Mahadik had said that they had also booked Khan under Bombay Police Act section 110 for behaving indecently in public and charged him a fine of Rs. 1,200.

After Hindustan Times highlighted the incident, the senior inspector at Gamdevi police station called the girl to file an FIR. However, the girl had lost faith in the system by then and did not visit the police station again. - HTC

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